Cohesive Strength and Separation Energy as Characteristic Parameters of Fracture Toughness and Their Relation to Micromechanics


A review on phenomenological fracture criteria is given, based on the energy balance for cracked bodies, and the respective toughness parameters are related to micromechanical processes. Griffith's idea of introducing a "surface energy" and Barenblatt's concept of a "process zone" ahead of the crack tip build the foundation of modern cohesive models, which have become versatile tools for numerical simulations of crack extension. The cohesive strength and the separation energy used as phenomenological material parameters in these models. appear to represent a physically significant characterisation of "fracture toughness". Micromechanical interpretations of these parameters can be derived, depending on the specific damage phenomenon.
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